News Alerts

26 Feb 2019 | 10:22 AM UTC

Sudan: President bans unauthorized rallies February 25 /update 33

Sudan News Alert

President Omar al-Bashir bans all unauthorized rallies and gatherings February 25, amid ongoing state of emergency; avoid all gatherings

TIMEFRAME expected from 2/25/2019, 11:00 PM until 2/28/2019, 10:59 PM (Africa/Khartoum). COUNTRY/REGION Sudan, Khartoum

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Event

President Omar al-Bashir banned all unauthorized rallies and gatherings on Monday, February 25, amid a state of emergency order, implemented on Friday, February 22, following weeks of anti-government protests. However, despite these new measures, further protests have been called to take place nationwide in the coming days and weeks. Heightened security measures and localized transportation disruptions are to be expected around any demonstration sites; clashes between protesters and security forces are likely.

Furthermore, security forces have been granted the right to "search any building, restrict movement of people and public transport, arrest individuals suspected of a crime related to the state of emergency, and seize assets or property during investigations".

Context

President al-Bashir declared a one-year state of emergency, dissolved the cabinet, and dismissed all state governors on February 22. Bashir also called on parliament to postpone any constitutional amendments, including one which would allow him to run for reelection in 2020. Nevertheless, anti-government protests continued across Sudan on February 24-25. Opposition leaders defied the state of emergency order and called on supporters to continue daily demonstrations until al-Bashir resigns. On February 24, Bashir swore in a new cabinet led by Prime Minister Mohamed Tahir Eila and introduced 16 army and two intelligence officers as governors for the country's 18 states.

Anti-government protests began on December 19, 2018, as hundreds of protesters gathered in major urban centers - notably Atbara (River Nile state), Al-Qadarif (Al-Qadarif state), Port Sudan (Red Sea state), Khartoum, and Al-Fashir and Nyala in Darfur region. Protests initially demanded increased government transparency and improved economic policies but have broadened to demand the resignation of President Omar al-Bashir, who has been in power since 1989 and has vowed not to step down until at least 2020. Curfews were implemented in at least eight cities, including Kosti and Rabak (White Nile state), Al-Qadarif, Atbara, Al-Damir and Berber (River Nile state), and Dongola and Karima (Northern state). The Sudanese government has also blocked or limited access to social media sites since December 31, 2018. Continued connectivity and telecommunications disruptions are to be expected in the near term. The government has confirmed the deaths of at least 33 people due to protests, though human rights groups claim as many as 51 people have died and 1000 others have been arrested since the protests began.

Advice

Individuals throughout Sudan are advised to monitor the situation, anticipate telecommunications disruptions, adhere to instructions issued by their home government as well as those of the local authorities (including curfew orders), and avoid all protests due to the risk of violence and arrest.

 

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